Louise Silk's Reviews > How to Grow a Novel: The Most Common Mistakes Writers Make and How to Overcome Them

How to Grow a Novel by Sol Stein
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's review
Aug 13, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: self-help

I came upon this book when I was trying to find the answer to a technical question about the novel I am writing. I feel like this book gave me a complete writing workshop just when I could use it the most.

Some of the most important points:
Conflict is a necessary element for dramatic action.
You have to capture the reader from the beginning or they will never love the book.
Generalities are blurry; success lies in details that enable the reader to experience the scenes.
One plus one equals one half. Conveying the same matter more than one in different words diminishes the effect of what is said.
Story is the concept; plot is ideas put into scenes that can be changed, shifted about, added to or deleted from.
Dialogue should be terse, tense, adversarial, illogical and oblique. What counts is not what is said but what is meant.
Point of view is an opportunity to get intimate with the reader.
To find your own voice- cut out cliches, keep things visual, get rid of formality and posturing. Voice is saying what you think without the restraint of what someone else will think about it.
The less work the reader has to do, the more she will appreciate what the writer has done.
Typeface matters. He recommends Courier because it is easy on the eye and moves them through the page.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 13, 2011 – Shelved
August 13, 2011 – Shelved as: self-help
August 13, 2011 – Finished Reading

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